Boys Adrift
Boys Adrift

 
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Something scary is happening to boys today. From kindergarten to college, American boys are, on average, less resilient and less ambitious than they were a mere twenty years ago. The gender gap in college attendance and graduation rates has widened dramatically. While Emily is working hard at school and getting A-s, her brother Justin is goofing off. He-s more concerned about getting to the next level in his videogame than about finishing his homework. Now, Dr. Leonard Sax delves into the scientific literature and draws on more than twenty years of clinical experience to explain why boys and young men are failing in school and disengaged at home. He shows how social, cultural, and biological factors have created an environment that is literally toxic to boys. He also presents practical solutions, sharing strategies which educators have found effective in re-engaging these boys at school, as well as handy tips for parents about everything from homework, to videogames, to medication.

Customer Reviews:

  • boys adrift
    A wealth of information for anyone wanting to understand the challeges boys face in school and growing up in general. The accompanying clinical research that supports the ideas addressed is remarkable. I truly feel better prepared to help guide my son through a flawed school system so he has the best chance at enjoying school and ultimately acheiving success. ...more info
  • An essential read for parents of boys!
    As a female and an only child, I don't have a great deal of experience decoding the minds of young boys. But, as a homeschooling mom of 2 darling sons, I eagerly read anything that promises to be helpful in this regard. And although my husband remembers his boyhood exceptionally well, raising boys is a very different proposition than it was a mere 35 years ago.

    Dr. Sax (an MD and a PsyD) has written a book that is a fast and easy, but very informative read. I learned a tremendous amount about the obstacles that can stand in the way of today's boy becoming tomorrow's bealthy, content, mature, capable, independent man. Truly fascinating.

    I would have given this book 5 stars, but for the rather weak last chapter that attempts to assign solutions to the problems it presents. The gift of this book, however, is in its thorough discussion of the problems. That part alone is truly a gem among books of this nature.

    Dr. Sax's book gives parents a chance to gain a complete understanding of the issues. With a little independent research and healthy dose of common sense, most parents could easily figure out how to manage these issues themselves....more info
  • Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men
    This book is essential for anyone who is a parent,guardian, or teacher to a boy. Dr. Leonard Sax's text is clearly written and full of citations and referrences to real research. It is very helpful to read Dr. Sax's first book "Why Gender Matters" first. ...more info
  • A Must-Read For Parents of Boys
    Something strange is going on with boys today. My memories of boyhood revolve around the great outdoors--running through fields with hockey stick guns, climbing trees, playing any and every sport, getting sunburns, heatstroke, ticks, sprained ankles and all the other bumps and bruises guaranteed to come to an active, rambunctious boy. Though today I live in a neighborhood filled with boys, rarely do I see them out and about; rarely do I see them engaging in the activities we'd expect of them. Something has changed. So many boys are inactive and unmotivated.

    The changes go deeper than just the activities of young boys. "Fully one-third of men ages 22-34 are still living at home with their parents--about a 100 percent increase in the past twenty years. Boys nationwide are increasingly dropping out of school; fewer are going to college; and for the first time in American history, women are outnumbering men at undergraduate institutions three to two." This lack of activity or lack of motivation seems to continue through life. Parents, educators and doctors are concerned.

    Leonard Sax is a family physician and a research psychologist who has witnessed this change. He has seen it in a close and personal way through his busy medical practice. In his book Boys Adrift Dr. Sax offers his explanation as to why boys and men are failing in school and at home.

    He narrows in on five factors: changes in educational models; video games; medications for ADHD; endocrine disruptors; and a lack of good role models. Schools, he says, have begun to focus on academics at too early an age, leaving boys hating education from their earliest days. Programs that focus more on fun and less on academics up to age seven or eight would reap educational dividends. Important also is the distinction between learning as merely collecting facts and learning as experience. Regarding video games he believes that boys today are dedicating far too much time to this form of entertainment. As boys play these games they gain false perceptions of power and inadvertently remove themselves from reality until eventually they prefer the world of video games over the real world. ADHD is vastly over-diagnosed and huge numbers of boys are given medications they simply do not need. These medications have been proven to change the way boys develop and do far more than simply calm down hyperactive children. Endocrine disruptors, and especially artificial estrogens found in plastic bottles and other similar products, are delaying boys' development (while accelerating girls' development) and contributing to many associated problems. And finally, boys are suffering from a distinct lack of good and manly role models, both in their homes and in their communities. Each of these five areas receives a chapter-length treatment and in each case the arguments are convincing. Yet the book does not end with only this list of problems, but with the author's attempts to suggest solutions.

    While Dr. Sax does not claim to be a Christian, he shares many things that could easily have their roots in the Bible. For example, in discussing problems with discipline he writes, "Thirty years ago, if a boy cursed his parents and spit at his teacher, the neighbors might say that the boy was a disobedient brat who needed a good spanking. Today, the same behavior from a similar boy might well prompt a trip to the pediatrician or the child psychiatrist. And the doctor is likely to `diagnose' the boy with Conduct Disorder (DSM-IV 312.82) or Oppositional-Defiant Disorder (DSM-IV 313.81). The main criterion for both these `disorders' is disobedient and disrespectful behavior that persists despite parental efforts.' Is there really much of a difference between a neighbor saying `That boy is a disobedient brat,' and a doctor saying `That boy has oppositional-defiant disorder'? I think there is. If another parent whom you trust and respect suggests that your son is a disobedient brat who needs stricter discipline, you just might consider adopting a tougher parenting." In a similar vein, he writes about problems inherent in making behavioral issues into medical issues. "You can see how the assignment of responsibility differs in these two cases. If your son is a disobedient brat, then your son and you (his parents) have to take responsibility. You have to own up to the problem. You will probably have to make some changes. But if your son has a psychiatric diagnosis, that means he has a chemical imbalance in his brain. He-and you-are no more to blame for that imbalance than if your son were diagnosed with childhood leukemia, right? Psychiatrist Jennifer Harris recently pointed out that today, `many clinicians find it easier to tell parents their child has a brain-based disorder than to suggest parenting changes.'"

    While Christian readers may find it a bit difficult to read about Dr. Sax's comparisons between humans and their "primate cousins," this is one of the book's few missteps. It is well-researched and thoroughly convincing. Though some of the five concerns Sax lays out may be more important or urgent than others, and while there are many boys for whom only a few of the five will apply, I believe any parent will benefit from reading this book. The lessons he shares are applicable to children who are in public or Christian schools as much as to children who are homeschooled. Dr. Mohler calls Boys Adrift "essential reading" for parents and I am inclined to agree. If you are a parent blessed with boys or if you are a young man yourself, buy this book and read it. You won't be sorry you did....more info
  • Extremely informative!
    I originally bought this book for my sister who was having difficulty motivating my nephew, an extremely bright young man. She tends to be very skeptical but gave this read a big thumbs up. I'm looking forward to reading it myself and have already seen some positive changes in my nephew. It also helps to know that others share in this same growing phenomenon....more info
  • Boy's Adrift - Outstanding
    This is an excellent and timely writing. I have purchased several of these books for family members which includes my children and their children. So very appropriate for todays young people. Girls can also learn a lot from this book. So happy I read an article in the newspaper regarding it....more info
  • Where is the next chapter
    This book identifies a number of serious issues in our educational systems and culture which make it difficult for boys to grow up motivated and with self discipline. What it does not do is identify concrete steps to help with boys who are already adrift- those who have been raised in this less than perfect environment and are struggling as young adults. While the identification of preventative measures is admirable, the book sorely lacks solid guidance to address the numbers of young men who have been damaged by the issues identified....more info
  • Examining the Problem of Unmotivated Boys to Men
    'The children now live in luxury and love chatter instead of exercise.' Sound familiar? Describes youth today? The quote is from Socrates! It serves as an excellent springboard for this lively discussion by Leonard Sax BOYS ADRIFT: THE FIVE FACTORS DRIVING THE GROWING EPIDEMIC OF UNMOTIVATED BOYS AND UNDERACHIEVING YOUNG MEN, a book that may be directed to health care workers, but one that deserves attention from the general public.

    The five factors Sax entertains are 1) feminization of education; 2) video games; 3) increased prescription of psychotropic drugs that affect the motivational systems of the brain; 4) exposure to endocrine disrupters; and 5) lack of heroic role models. The factors are quite straightforward and Sax succeeds in carefully explaining his research and opinions in terms easily understandable. While many parents bemoan the current trend of video game couch potato children and the falling away of physical education requirements in our schools agendas, few are activists in encouraging change: part of the problem, Sax discusses, is the passivity of parents who are themselves acting on the personal permutations of this 'too fast, too technological' lifestyle imposed on them by the cancer described here.

    Sax strongly objects to the growing importance of pugilistic video games for boys that serve as secondary means of learning how to deal with anger and aggression. He presents details outlining the non-competitive environment of our classrooms where every student is encouraged to meet the 'average' (read 'not-so-golden mean') rather than being encouraged to be creative and experimental. Drivers are in place for testing practice, yet very little creative writing or individual attention to personality traits in need of recognition to produce a group of boys to men who actually become 'community' on the local and global sense. The passive parent is also put on the stand for the current and growing status of 'failure to launch' - or not leaving the home to take the risks and rewards of self-discipline and motivation.

    Sax writing style is comfortable and immensely readable. This is a fine book for parents to read and then to share with the subjects of the book - boys adrift in an impersonal world. Recommended. Grady Harp, December 07...more info
  • Every parent should read this book
    Every parent of boys should read this book. I have a 2 and 4-yr-old and am glad I read this when I did. It's made me aware of so many issues I think I was ignorant of. Boys have special challenges in todays world and I think Sax did a good job explaining each one in depth and also in offering solutions to each. I've recommended this to every friend I have with boys....more info
  • Boys Adrift long overdue
    This is a must read for anyone who is a parent, teacher, physician, psychologist,sociologist etc. If you are a parent, this book will remove much of the mystery, as well as alleviate some of the guilt around raising Men. The author shows how "good parenting" is just a part of the picture. As a physician, I frequently talk with parents about their frustrations around their sons: "He just doesn't seem to care about anything!", "All he does is lie around and play video games", "He's so smart, but school just doesn't interest him.", "He is still living at home at age 24, because he says he can't find a job. When I ask him where he applied, he says:'Oh,a couple of places'."etc, etc

    The only aspect of this book which might be expanded some, is the part about Video Games. The author does not discuss the fact that the TV screen itself can damage the developing brain. This is regardless of program content! The TV tube (CRT), is the only radiant light source in the universe which contains information. Our brains have developed, if you will, to "not pay attention" to radiant light (look for content). Thus, when viewing a TV, parts of the brain essentially go into "neutral", and the centers which normally process information do not fully engage. This phenomenon is brilliantly reviewed in
    The Children of Cyclops- The influence of Television Viewing On the Developing Human Brain, by Keith Buzzell, D.O.

    Please read Sax's book, he has given society a great gift!


    ...more info
  • Excellent Resource
    Boys Adrift is a great resource for any parent or teacher looking for a way to help boys become succesful in an academic setting....more info
  • excellent book, highly recommended read, then pass it around
    What a thoroughly research and convincing book. A very eye opening, compelling read. Get it for yourself then pass it around....more info
  • A Must-Read for all Educators
    I found the material and ideas presented in Leonard Sax's book very thought provoking and insightful. So much about boys has been puzzling me for years now. This book provides many answers. It is also asking parents and educators to wake up and see the crisis unfolding in our culture. Boys need us to be proactive. The section on video games is especially compelling.
    Barbara DuRocher, Educator, Four Winds Waldorf School, Warrenville, IL...more info
  • Must read for anyone who cares about young males
    As the mother of a homeschooled son who also had seven other boys living with us at one time or another I think this is a must read for anyone who cares about young males in society and the harm that has been done to them over the last twenty to thirty years. So many of the other excellent reviews make points I would agree with.

    Decades ago I read Dr Raymond Moore's books on how young boys learn and how they often are late in learning to read, but that just because they were not early readers doesn't mean they weren't learning valuable lessons in life. Then I remembered my late mother and how she was talking about how many of the boys in her second grade class, were being put on ADD medications and she felt this was unwise, and that what was needed was a return to mid morning, afternoon recess breaks and recess during the lunch time so that boys could be boys and burn off some of the excess energy and have plenty of oxygen in their brains to make learning more fun. And as the author notes young males who aren't getting the physical activity they need pay a big price.

    And like the author many social scientists have noted the high number of single Mom families where boys are not being exposed to make role models. This is not a slam on single Moms, but is a shout out to males who give up so easily and walk away from their kids. Young males need adult men in their lives who will demonstrate what self discipline is all about and that instant gratification isn't the goal.

    And yes I agree with the author on the role computer games play in a negative way. But I also believe that in the last twenty to thirty years to many parents have been sucked into the paranoia of child abduction which has resulted in latch key kids who rather than being outside playing and working all the muscles in their body, are instead stuck inside where only a small part of their brain is being used.

    And yes I think the author is correct when he delves into the whole feminization of education. I have long worried that when women's studies came along that the pendulum and PC academia would result in an even less level field in education. Then one reads book after book by women who bemoan the fact that they are better educated than most men and they cant find a partner to marry who is their equal.

    As the author notes, medical, law and even veterinary schools now have a majority of females as students. Sometimes these women make up over sixty percent of the students.

    I also want to add that I think President George W Bush's No Child Left Behind which stressed teaching kids how to take tests rather than real learning, will make and has made the situation with male students even worse....more info
  • Incredibly Informative!
    Great book! I could not put it down. I have eight grandchildren, six of which are boys and I have been trying to put my finger on the pulse for quite some time; trying to figure out why are so many of our young African American males unmotivated nowadays. Dr Sax introduces some surprising possibilities. I would recommend this book to anyone who has sons under the age of 30. I bought extras and gave them as gifts....more info
  • Boys to Men - how do we help them launch?
    This book had so much useful information, I can't possibly write about it all here. So in three words.....READ THIS BOOK. I mean......everyone. Whether you're a parent, teacher, coach, girlfriend, lunchlady, employer....anyone who knows a boy or man (or even manboy) in their life should check this out. Dr. Sax is not just some fly-by-night, so-called expert - he has been studying this for some time (plus he's a pediatrician) and cites different studies that he has come across that back up his findings. Don't expect to find an easy answer here, but rather 5 factors that may explain why an alarmingly high number of young men are unmotivated and refusing to "grow up" and get a job. The 5 factors are: Changes at School, Video Games, Medications for ADHD, Endocrine Disruptors (not sure how I feel about that one), and the Revenge of the Forsaken Gods. Of course, the first three I read about with GREAT interest since I was an elementary teacher. I especially liked that Dr. Sax was open to other opinions, such as the evolving independent woman. What motivation is there for a man, when a woman doesn't need anyone to take care of her anymore? (I'm sure I'm gonna hear some feedback about this, but bring it on)
    All in all, this is a very engrossing book, filled with some pretty brutal facts (don't you just love oxymorons?) Some of the information you will agree with, and some you won't. I truly hope that school officials out there will at least read about Factor One and do something about the way we teach Kindergarten today!...more info
  • Fascinating book
    From the very first page this book is hard to put down. The more I read the more wanted to know. Whether you have children or not , you will enjoy this book. I wish I had read it when I was raising my boy. I could have made my decisions with more confidence....more info
  • Amazing...
    This book needs to be read by everyone

    MARRIED - Read it to get a heads up on what your boys may have to face in academics and in his professional life. You will definitely be able to give them an environment to thrive.

    SINGLE MALES- Read it to understand some characteristic about yourself. There are somethings that we do, that we can't explain. There are some things we feel that we could never make sense of, like lack of motivation.

    SINGLE FEMALES- Read it to understand what drives males. This book will help dissolve the myth that the problem is with boys entirely. How does their environment, medication and lack of role models play in their lives.

    This book will really open your eyes to some recent (30 years)problems. Boys aren't any different, but society is VERY different. You would think a book like this dumps on society, but it doesn't. It respects the changes, but analyses some aspects of the old society that we threw away in haste or ignorance. If you pick this book up, pick it up...
    1. With out the preconceived notion that the book is chauvanistic propaganda.
    2. With the understanding that boys and girls are different bologically. Not better, just different. It's o.k. to be different.
    ...more info
  • A call to parents, doctors, teachers, coaches
    In "Boys Adrift", Leonard Sax investigates why boys across all socio-economic groups lack motivation and passion for real life activity. He says "they disdain school because they disdain everything." And "even more disturbing is the fact that so many of these boys seem to regard their laid back, couldn't-care-less attitude as being somehow quintessentially male". Sax puts forth five factors creating an epidemic of apathy and under-achievement.

    His first factor is a change in the education paradigm that pushes first grade rigor into kindergarten and then continues to promote Wissenschaft, or book learning, over - and sometimes to the exclusion of - Kenntnis, or learning by experience. Schools have also reduced or eliminated competition, which many boys thrive on and develop their self-esteem. Sax challenges us to reverse these trends.

    The second factor is an addiction of video games that promotes anti-social behavior and supposedly affects the brain similarly to ADHD meds. Video games provide a feeling of power and achievement without any of the effort required in real-life. "Playing games is easy. Studying is hard." We as parents are to blame for this. Sax recommends limiting games to 40 minutes per day, competitive sports, and prioritizing family, friends and real-world activities over video game play.

    The third factor is the routine diagnosis of ADHD and ensuing medications that affect motivation long-term. For doctors and insurers, meds are cheaper than a formal and thorough assessment. And "some parents just don't want to hear that the reason their child is getting B's and C's is because he's just not that smart. They would rather hear that their child has ADHD and needs medication..." and it's easier to think your child has an "oppositional-defiant disorder" rather than he is a "disobedient brat". Sax recommends we challenge the diagnosis and diligently evaluate the cost-benefit of medications.

    Sax cites as the fourth factor chemicals endocrine disrupters in plastics that emasculate the male, delay puberty, and foster obesity. Plastics are the biggest culprit here and he advises the use of glass containers. Apparently Sax originally thought this factor far-fetched but after research and investigation has become convinced.

    Finally, the fifth factor is how society's minimization of masculinity and the passage to manhood has profoundly and negatively influenced the psyche of the young male. By eliminating the traditional rituals of manhood, "have we violated something which the ancients knew intuitively but which we have arrogantly ignored?" And if we do not expose our boys to positive male role models, they will look towards the media or their peers for their inspiration and guidance. The respected fathers and self-sacrificing male leaders of yester-year have been replaced with Homer Simpson and misogynistic, hedonistic pop icons.

    Sax's presentation is very effective, and it is very readable at 220 pages. He parades by the reader a litany of case studies, either evidenced through his own experiences as a physician and psychologist or through emails or conversations with parents. He makes frequent references to his book "Why Gender Matters" and studies from various other authors. "Boys Adrift" is a call to fathers, mothers, teachers, coaches, and leaders, reminding us that our sons, students, and players desperately need our attention, consideration, guidance and protection.
    ...more info
  • Provocative
    Leonard Sax pronounces modern boys as in a state of shambles, and then sets out to tell us why. He posits intriguing theories, several of which have some empirical support:

    First, schools have shifted to an overemphasis on academics for children as young as five, before many boys in particular are developmentally ready to read and write.

    Second, video games promote a false sense of power while further disengaging boys from the real world.

    Third, ADHD medications are "steamrolling" through American boys, potentially harming young brains and producing negative personality changes.

    And fourth, environmental contaminants - in particular synthetic estrogenics from plastic water bottles - may be delaying and disrupting boys' pubertal development and contributing to ADHD, obesity, and other problems.

    Whenever someone claims to have discovered a "growing epidemic," my alarm bells go off. In this case, Sax is so focused on proving his pet theories that he shamelessly distorts information and misses the larger picture. For example, he makes the alarmist claim that there is "a rise in violent crime" by young men. To those who don't know better, this might sound plausible. But Sax is citing a one-year spike (2006) in an otherwise-dramatic DROP in violent crime and juvenile crime in recent decades (per official U.S. Bureau of Justice statistics). As another example, he defends football culture by pointing out that the school shooters were not football players. That's a classic straw-man argument. While the shooters themselves were not football players, many of the school shooters were targeted and victimized by the dominant jocks on their school campuses (see the Secret Service study and the book Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings, which I review). School shootings are typically committed by alienated and disenfranchised young men, whereas football culture has been linked to other forms of primarily group violence, including hazings, gay-bashings, and group rape. I was able to catch these distortions because those two topics happen to be within my areas of professional expertise. When I see that type of inaccurate and alarmist approach, I suspect that other information is also being distorted.

    Overall, Sax places a lot of blame on individual young men (calling them lazy and parasitic) without adequately addressing changes in society that have contributed to their problems.

    He also generalizes from his experiences with a mainly upper-class and white population. He discounts and ignores racial oppression (for example condemning music stars Akon and 50 Cent with same brush as "convicted felons") and the vast digital divide separating those who use computers (and play video games) from those who do not. He sings the same old lament about a supposed lack of positive male role models, despite scant research evidence that this is a major factor in the problems of modern American boys. (See Pollack's Real Boys : Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood and Garbarino's Lost Boys: Why Our Sons Turn Violent and How We Can Save Them for deeper analyses of these topics.)

    In summary, although Sax makes some interesting points about the problems faced by boys in contemporary American culture, his alarmist rhetoric, distortions, and broad-brush generalizations detract from his credibility.
    ...more info
  • Finally! Words that help me better understand my son!
    I am an involved mother with my teenage sons, and in the educational administration arena. This book provides me a strong foundation of reassurance that I have been parenting my best despite circumstances and making decisions that have had more benefits than I was originally aware. I can see patterns in Dr. Sax's words that allow me to have a deeper insight into life while raising my sons. Talking with teachers, principals, counselors, family and friends has led me in circles, but now, I finally feel affirmation in what I have been interpreting from my sons' experiences and actions. I can take a deep breath and continue to help them move forward....more info
  • EVERYONE should read this book!
    One doesn't need to have or work with children to benefit from the clearly written and easy-to-read information in Boys Adrift. As a mental health therapist and parent and grandparent of lots of boys, I am on one hand excited by Dr. Sax's work and yet incredibly sad that I didn't have this valuable information when I was raising my boys. Dr. Sax educates the reader on the biology of our precious little boys...the ones who frustrate us, exhaust us, but smell deliciously of sweat, dirt, and sunshine...then he explains how biological and societal influences combine to cause our boys to fall behind, to act out, and to opt out. Whew...Frankly this book knocked me for a loop and changed the way I view a lot of things that concern gender differnces. Conclusion? Gender DOES matter. (Read Dr. Sax's Why Gender Matters as well.)...more info
  • A call to parents, doctors, teachers, coaches
    In "Boys Adrift", Leonard Sax investigates why boys across all socio-economic groups lack motivation and passion for real life activity. He says "they disdain school because they disdain everything." And "even more disturbing is the fact that so many of these boys seem to regard their laid back, couldn't-care-less attitude as being somehow quintessentially male". Sax puts forth five factors creating an epidemic of apathy and under-achievement.

    His first factor is a change in the education paradigm that pushes first grade rigor into kindergarten and then continues to promote Wissenschaft, or book learning, over - and sometimes to the exclusion of - Kenntnis, or learning by experience. Schools have also reduced or eliminated competition, which many boys thrive on and develop their self-esteem. Sax challenges us to reverse these trends.

    The second factor is an addiction of video games that promotes anti-social behavior and supposedly affects the brain similarly to ADHD meds. Video games provide a feeling of power and achievement without any of the effort required in real-life. "Playing games is easy. Studying is hard." We as parents are to blame for this. Sax recommends limiting games to 40 minutes per day, competitive sports, and prioritizing family, friends and real-world activities over video game play.

    The third factor is the routine diagnosis of ADHD and ensuing medications that affect motivation long-term. For doctors and insurers, meds are cheaper than a formal and thorough assessment. And "some parents just don't want to hear that the reason their child is getting B's and C's is because he's just not that smart. They would rather hear that their child has ADHD and needs medication..." and it's easier to think your child has an "oppositional-defiant disorder" rather than he is a "disobedient brat". Sax recommends we challenge the diagnosis and diligently evaluate the cost-benefit of medications.

    Sax cites as the fourth factor chemicals endocrine disrupters in plastics that emasculate the male, delay puberty, and foster obesity. Plastics are the biggest culprit here and he advises the use of glass containers. Apparently Sax originally thought this factor far-fetched but after research and investigation has become convinced.

    Finally, the fifth factor is how society's minimization of masculinity and the passage to manhood has profoundly and negatively influenced the psyche of the young male. By eliminating the traditional rituals of manhood, "have we violated something which the ancients knew intuitively but which we have arrogantly ignored?" And if we do not expose our boys to positive male role models, they will look towards the media or their peers for their inspiration and guidance. The respected fathers and self-sacrificing male leaders of yester-year have been replaced with Homer Simpson and misogynistic, hedonistic pop icons.

    Sax's presentation is very effective, and it is very readable at 220 pages. He parades by the reader a litany of case studies, either evidenced through his own experiences as a physician and psychologist or through emails or conversations with parents. He makes frequent references to his book "Why Gender Matters" and studies from various other authors. "Boys Adrift" is a call to fathers, mothers, teachers, coaches, and leaders, reminding us that our sons, students, and players desperately need our attention, consideration, guidance and protection.
    ...more info
  • Enlightening
    I'm so glad I bought this book after I heard Dr. Sax speak on NPR. He touched on a subject that I've been wondering about for years, mainly why some children are more motivated than others. Is it nature or nurture? (he blames the child's environment) After reading his thoughts, I agree with him. He has some excellent points. (He cites five main reasons). I can't speak for others, but I can personally relate to his examples. I just wish he had more solutions. And I still wonder if some boys are just born that way....more info
  • Confirms common sense
    I remember begging my parents for an Atari game system and their instinct was that video games would rot my brain. That was Pac-Man and Frogger. Now that I'm a dad I worry about the affect of games on my boy as I see teens & 20-somethings wasting away in front of video games. The Author does a fine job of putting science to what most of us instinctively fear about video games, over-prescribed drugs and other harms for boys. ...more info
  • Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men
    This book is essential for anyone who is a parent,guardian, or teacher to a boy. Dr. Leonard Sax's text is clearly written and full of citations and referrences to real research. It is very helpful to read Dr. Sax's first book "Why Gender Matters" first. ...more info
  • Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men
    Not very informative - written by a source that should have offered more helpful info - I'm dissapointed!...more info
  • A MUST READ!
    If you are the parent, grandparent, aunt/uncle, friend of a young man, this book is a MUST READ! I am the parent of two young boys as well as an educator and have found this resource to be invaluable. This is easy to read yet based on solid research. This is a MUST HAVE resource!!!...more info
  • Thought provoking and informative
    This is a great book for any parent of boys, especially if they are still young. It's a book, not a silver bullet or single source guide for parenting. Still, the thought provoking analysis done by the author makes it a valuable resource for parents trying to figure how to do this parenting thing. ...more info
  • An essential read for parents of boys!
    As a female and an only child, I don't have a great deal of experience decoding the minds of young boys. But, as a homeschooling mom of 2 darling sons, I eagerly read anything that promises to be helpful in this regard. And although my husband remembers his boyhood exceptionally well, raising boys is a very different proposition than it was a mere 35 years ago.

    Dr. Sax (an MD and a PsyD) has written a book that is a fast and easy, but very informative read. I learned a tremendous amount about the obstacles that can stand in the way of today's boy becoming tomorrow's bealthy, content, mature, capable, independent man. Truly fascinating.

    I would have given this book 5 stars, but for the rather weak last chapter that attempts to assign solutions to the problems it presents. The gift of this book, however, is in its thorough discussion of the problems. That part alone is truly a gem among books of this nature.

    Dr. Sax's book gives parents a chance to gain a complete understanding of the issues. With a little independent research and healthy dose of common sense, most parents could easily figure out how to manage these issues themselves....more info
  • Great Book!
    Started reading and could not put this book down. Very well written. This book changed how I look at the environment of my children forever....more info
  • Alarming and Reassuring at the same time....
    My youngest son is 22 and a senior in college. He called me the other day and said he had read a book and it changed his life. He told me that I had to go out and buy this book - "today!". I did and after reading it, I find that I am alarmed and at the same time reassured. My youngest son, in particular, is very much in the catagory of adrift and unmotivated. Now I know why. Now he knows why. He is incredibly reassured that he is normal, that he is not alone, and that there are steps he can take to "fix" his world. The first thing he is doing is unplugging his video devices; PC, Wii, xbox, nintendos, even his TV. He visited with his college advisor to get back on track with his physics major. Yes, he is very smart. But he is derailed in many ways for all the reasons laid out well in this remarkable book. I can tell you that you should, you must and you would be remiss if you have a male child and do not buy, read and digest this information. It will change your family and the way you do things. My husband is a director on the local school board and we intend to make some noise in our local school district because this is too huge of a problem across our country and in our schools to ignore. Thank you to Dr. Sax for his insightful, well researched and extremely helpful, motivating book. My son is a better person for knowing why he is the way he is and now has the tools to make himself over - better. I intend to help him get there. READ THIS BOOK! ...more info
  • all parents of boys should read
    even if some of sax's hypothesis are untested, this is a book i recommend to all parents with boys.

    as a parent of an 11-year-old boy, i can attest that i have seen variations on many of the problems sax discusses. though we have not had to deal with adhd personally, i have seen many many boys in my son's class diagnosed. I have wondered how many of these diagnoses are accurate and how many simply make boys within normal behavoiral ranges more manageable in the classroom.

    i could go on at length, but this thought-provoking and easy to consume book is worth reading. ...more info
  • Worth Reading
    This book gives clear insight and common sense reasons why our boys are lacking in motivation in today's society. The major factors which contribute to such a decline in motivation really make you think and understand that we need to make some serious changes in our roles as parents, teachers, mentors and leaders of young men in our lifestyles for young boys before it's too late and we end up with a society full of lazy, unmotivated and unproductive male leadership for the future of our world. I highly recommend reading this book (whether you are a parent of a boy or not), because we all have boys in our lives and the examples that we can set and changes in our lifestyles that we can make can really make a difference in the outcome of our future leaders....more info
  • Completely New Ideas
    The idea that boys are in trouble was a completely new idea to me. I have always heard about girls needing help with self-esteem and acedemics (like science & math). But boys in trouble . . . nope, never heard of it. My sister recommended this book because I have a young son and it was an EYE OPENER!

    MUST READ - for partents of boys and girls. Very, very easy read and it will change how you look at our children and gender forever....more info
  • Informative
    Great read, good research.

    It helps that this researcher's views fit mine. :)

    It seems that our society and educational system wants boys to act like good little girls. This book examines that assertion and will help parents understand their boy's behavior....more info
  • Best Teen Boy Book Ever Written!!!!!!!!
    This is the best, most sensible book ever written about underachieving teenage boys. It is well written, easy to read, and easy to understand. All the indicators have been right under our noses for years but to see them summed up in print by authority on the subject is both enlightening and empowering. If you have an underachiever please, please read this book!!...more info
  • Superb, well-researched, and timely
    As an avid reader of parenting books, this one is at the head of the pack. Well-researched and appropriately referenced, it is one of the few books that promote a point of view while simultaneously presenting the other side and refuting the points with facts-based research. I appreciate that approach immensely; I don't buy books to just hear one side of the story. I recommend this book to all my friends with young boys, and wholeheartedly agree with his concerns about video games and young boys feeling a lack of connection with a greater "team". I've implemented small competitions among my Cub Scout Group as a result, trying to engender that need to contribute beyond oneself. Thank you for this important book. ...more info
  • Fabulous! Well written.
    The book was fabulous! Well written and supported by research, not another opinion book, very logically persuasive. His supported ideas regarding the reasons our young boys are becoming unsuccessful, unmotivated, and underachieved are quite correct! We discussed these matters in book group and were greatly motivated to make changes within our own families which Dr. Sax suggested....more info
  • Boy's Adrift
    This was a wonderfully informative book. I could not put it down -- which is unusual for me. I believe the author has great insight and Anyone that has boys should read this book. I already have made changes, I realized that I give my two darlings everything and love them to the moon and back and that is well and good but they also need to learn to work and have a strong work ethic. And along with incorporating chores around the house for nonpay -- the neighbors now hire them for yard work and at first they were not to happy with this idea until they started having spending money in their wallet from being paid and also seeing a job well done. I agreed with the Author about most everything. I was a bit freaked about about the plastic information - I guess I was just unaware. But he is right on with the video games. I highly recommend this book. I believe it will make you look at your choices closely in what your boys do with their time - And it may change what you consider acceptable or allowable....more info

 

 
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